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COLUMN: Pet peeves

I don’t have many problems with other people’s kids.

That’s mostly because I can usually frighten them into acceptable behaviour when they’re in my house.

I’ve applied mild psychological terror to get the desired results I want from kids – I find it works up to about age 13 – but for some reason it doesn’t work with dogs that just wag their tails when I tell them I keep all the bad puppies locked in a cage in my basement.

That’s a problem when friends and relatives bring over dogs with discipline problems allowed by their overly tolerant owners.

I say get a grown dog that’s already had an owner or two. I have a used dog I was already well-acquainted with when I got her and knew she didn’t have traits I wasn’t prepared to put up with.

If you raise a dog from a puppy, it’s like raising your own child.

Ever notice how good your kids are with everybody else? Your own kids never believe you would actually kill them or give them away and they behave accordingly. If I reincarnate as a human next time around, I’m adopting.

Some dogs bark, some chew, but the ones that get brought to my house all poop on our floors.

Why? My dog doesn’t poop on my floors. Neither does my cat, so what makes these dogs think they can? Is it because they’re all excited about coming over to Uncle Chris’s place?

My son and his girlfriend stayed over for Christmas and they brought her little pug dog, Roadie, along.

She tore around the house playing with our dog, exploring every nook and cranny and kept a wary eye on me and her distance, so I was a bit surprised when she followed me upstairs to our bedroom.

As I stepped into the en suite I wondered if she needed to go outside.

Sure enough, when I came out seconds later she’d left a present for me on the carpet. Fortunately, it was a tidy one easily disposed of by her owners.

Violet is a tiny Yorkshire terrier-dachshund cross thing that looks like it’s from Whoville. She dropped packages in the house for years. Her owner, having witnessed my consternation upon discovering these, left a plastic gag one in the entrance hall for me to find when I came home one day, just to watch my reaction.

Then there’s Baxter. I don’t know what Baxter is. Picture Garfield’s sidekick Odie – only with long hair. That’s him. He’s a beautiful, happy dog without two brain cells to rub together.

He’s visiting a lot these days because he’s staying next door with Grandma while his owners are on holidays.

He used to leave packages. Now he just eats my cat’s toys. Chewed up several of Mickee’s toys the other night. Mickee despises him.

A distant relative brought her dog out to a gathering on Boxing Day. I don’t know what it is, but it’s expensively groomed, was hand-fed chicken and liver and turns its nose up at dog cookies.

It sat there in the middle of a living room filled with guests begging food from its owner by staring up at her and barking while she ate.

It kept disrupting conversation, so I told it to shut up. It took notice – its owner didn’t – for a minute and started in again.

A few minutes later – after finishing my third glass of wine – I walked over, told it to shut up again and kicked it in its behind just hard enough so it knew I meant business.

It didn’t make another sound and, strangely, its owner never mentioned it either.

So, what’s my New Year’s resolution?

I’ve vowed to stop reminding Mickee that all these little mutts aren’t food.

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